And now I'm back concentrating on the weight loss. It's true that it's taking up most of my creative energy at the moment, because a change of lifestyle like this is a creative thing. You have to come up with new ways of eating, ways of keeping active that you're going to like and be able to do regularly, ways of keep motivated - and you do all of this, the way you look at life changes, as does the way you look at yourself. It's a really big thing, in fact. Bigger than I'd thought. And therein lies a big difference between a diet and a losing weight forever. This is not a surface change. It goes deep.
I re-read the Heart Foundation's booklet on weight loss today, just to check I'm on the right track. I was really thinking about portion sizes, worried that I might not be remember everything correctly. I tend to err on the size of caution, and don't want to eat too little (I'm always still hungry when I finish a meal, even when I've just over-eaten, so I really do need the guidelines at the moment). On re-reading, I found that there's something else I'd forgotten too. Namely to concentrate on the lifestyle changes, not the weight loss. Well, I hadn't forgotten exactly, but I think first time around, I didn't quite understand what that meant, and I have fallen into the trap as seeing the weekly weigh in with a good result as the thing I'm working towards.
The BHF suggests setting goals not related to weight loss, and to reward yourself for achieving them. Rewards should be non-food-based. Use them for reaching "behaviour" goals rather than weight goals. For example, your goal could be to stick to your eating plan each day for a week or to keep up with your planned physical activity for a month. Your reward could be to buy a new book or to go and seee a film. Eek, I haven't been doing that. Funnily enough, in a book I'm dipping into at the moment, The Self Esteem Bible by Gael Lindenfield, she also advocated the use of rewards, saying that confident people never think twice about rewarding themselves, and will do it as a matter of course. Regarding physical excercise, she suggests you give yourself a treat EVERY TIME you complete your excercise at first, until the habit sticks. She says Your aim is to programme your brain to associate exercise with pleasure instead of pain. (It's a bit like dog training! Scooby snax, anyone? Oh, sorry, that's food based.)
I think what I need to do next is get filling that sheet in, about my goals and aims for this week, and have it starting on Monday. My weigh in day is Wednesday, but that'a inconsequential with the goals - my goal for that is always the same, 1-2lbs weekly, and it's not rewarded, just kept an eye on. OK ... thinking cap on ... behaviours ... told you this was a creative thing!